Often times, parents feel nervous or plain embarrassed to discuss ‘sex’ with their children. They worry about how to start, what to say and how much detail to give.

Our reality is, this is 21st century and children are constantly exposed to sexually explicit content through many channels from the environment, television programs (like BBN), Movies and social media.

The rate of exposure is so high that you cannot totally control it. The most that can be done is to cut the exposure to the barest minimum.

A realistic fact is; whether you discuss the topic or not, they will definitely find out on their own but usually the wrong way.

So, you have a young daughter, son, sibling or relative…and you’re wondering what age to start or if the child isn’t too young?

Are you also thinking to tell her after her first period or after his junior WAEC?

Practically, it is wrong to decide in terms of age. Children are starting puberty earlier and they need information just as early.

Let’s quickly examine you and your old classmates;

Remember your secondary school days when you had people with bigger stature, more matured voice and more matured face in the same class with you?

And then one day, you found out with utter shock that you are just age mates! Wouldn’t you wonder if God created you in the morning and them in the evening? Life is imbalanced like that.

As much as age can be a guide as to when, it is still not to be used as a complete measurement.
Now, the question still remains ‘when’?

Your “When” depends on the rate of growth of your child. Most children get exposed at their pre-teen or early teenage years. Do not judge by their silence or perceived ignorance. Just go ahead.

Simply pick an appropriate time between their pre- teen and early teenage years, choose an appropriate time free of tension and distractions and hit the nail right on it.

Yes, it might be difficult to start but trust me, as soon as you start, it becomes easier to continue the conversation and to also approach the topic again.

A simple guideline before anything is to first intelligently scan through their mind using series of subtle questions… to find out what they already know and how much information they have about the topic.
Thereafter, educate them while telling them the truth for what it is.

Be as honest as possible and most importantly, be careful not to say too much to them too soon.
Visit the topic again and again as they grow older to show further enlightenment and most importantly, leave the door to this conversation open at any time.

They need to be able to talk to you about sex related topic easily, so that, they can be guided.
Remember, they are just growing and they depend on you.

Writer, Oyin Eyinade | Top Media Nigeria
Writer, Oyin Eyinade | Top Media Nigeria

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